On Monday, New Year’s Day, at around 3PM, I put my older sister Karen on a taxi to Half Way Tree so she could get a ride to Spanish Town, from where she’d get on another bus to Ocho Rios, then home to Brown’s Town. We talked on the phone briefly about a week later. I can’t remember what we talked about. Then on the 13th of January, at 7:04AM, I got a call from our aunt, who was crying and hyperventilating on the phone.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a new year’s resolutions post. Or maybe it is. Whatever. Here’s a look at some of what I’ll be getting up to in this blessed 2018.
1. See a therapist. Often. More than once a week, if she doesn’t tire of me.
Self care is priority numero uno for me this year. In as many forms as it may take. Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair, and 2017 was the hottest of hot messes. I’ve had my brushes with depression, almost deep dived (dove?) into the pit last year, and I’m sensible enough to know that professional help is needed to unpack all the baggage if I’m to have a decent life going forward. Please, please, please pay attention to your mental health. There is absolutely no shame in seeing a therapist or counsellor. Don’t let society’s messed up views on this matter keep you bound.
Happy New Year! Buh-bye 2017 and hello 2018! So excited to see ya. Needed this year to be OVER already and it feels like I’ve been waiting forEVER. (I’m also on pins and needles excited for Grown-ish, Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time). Yayyyy, 2018! 🎆🎆🎆
I know it’s not even 10PM here in Jamaica, but my church is headquartered in Nigeria and we just live-streamed the NYE service and it’s after midnight there, so you will take these new year felicitations and bask in the joy with me, ok? Awesome!
I’ve always dreaded my birthdays. Of the 33 that I’ve been blessed to mark as of today, 3/4 of them have been completely unremarkable. A couple of them—milestone birthdays at that—have been downright awful. So I was down in the doldrums from around the first of November and the closer it got to B-day, the more unsettled I became. Last week, I was just plain stressed. After the year I’ve had, I honestly wasn’t looking forward to the day. Then around Thursday, I saw a quote on my Twitter timeline that said something along the lines of, “the best way to get over a problem is to do something good for others.” (Don’t remember who said it and I can’t find anything like it in the Googles, so maybe it was from a Twitter philosopher. 🤷)
I know we don’t observe Thanksgiving Day in Jamaica, and I also know it has a dodgy history in the States, but I believe in gratefulness as a principle, so that’s what I’m focusing on today. Studies have shown that there are many great benefits of gratitude, from improving your self esteem to helping you sleep better. And who can’t use some good sleep in these stressful times? The Bible is also replete with verses about giving thanks, even in the midst of discouraging circumstances, and as a Christian, gratitude should be my very nature.
Disclaimer: Cantu isn’t paying me for this post, although they totally should. I just like to share my truth.
I’m going to start at the beginning. Or as close to it as possible. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you must know by now that I like to take my time to tell a story. If you’re new, I’m hella long-winded on here, but hang in there with me. It’ll be worth it. Here we go:
Last year, on Friday, April 29, at around 6:30PM, I walked out of the offices of my job at the island’s oldest and largest media company and took my last ride on the staff bus. I had officially handed in my resignation letter a month before, but in truth, I had emotionally quit the job several months before. Many people see my decision to leave a stable job at a reputable company as the most irresponsible of acts. How could I do such a thing, in this economic climate?! Don’t I see that there are hundreds—maybe even thousands—of people who would kill to have that job?! Versions of those questions have certainly been voiced to me by concerned relatives and friends, and by HR representatives and would-be bosses in the interviews I’ve done over the past 371 days. Only one interviewer has understood my answer and motivation, and agreed with me. In fact, she had a quote on her wall that expressed the very same sentiment:
Hi! Happy new year! I know January’s gone and we’re, like, halfway through February already, but I can still say that because this is my first post of 2017. Besides, it’s my blog; I can do whatever I want 😛.